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Homepage is: http://shawweb.myzen.co.uk/stephen/index.htm
1970'sA decade of great activity including courtship, marriage and house purchase.
Sold my Trio short wave radio in 1970 and bought a Grundig Music Boy radio in School Lane, Heaton Chapel with the proceeds. This radio still in use in 2013.Early in 1970 attended Reddish Green Methodist Church (by the 1980's this was a block of flats) with Cathy, regular minister was Rev Jessop, and one or two services were taken by Arthur Connop. I had morning duties giving the hymn books out, was once saddled - with no training- with a Sunday School class, and even hand pumped the small organ. The organ still survives in 2012 in a nearby church with a name that confuses me- united or uniting or something silly. It is a mechanical tracker organ and has been recorded for posterity on youtube.
1.1.70 Started the year working at Levenshulme-branch which closed 11am on that day, not yet a Bank Holiday.10 and 11.1.70- Visited Southport as guest of christian mission.
21 2 70- Booker T and the MGs (Green Onion) at Free Trade Hall then on to CIS New Century Hall for a disco- my dancing much admired with girls screaming, collapsing on floor, etc etc and leading to a free coke from one of their boyfriends. Fun.24.2.70-on holiday, met Cath in Manchester and took her to lunch at the bank staff canteen, Mosley Street (then at No 45 Mosley St- no longer Bank premises)
18 4 70 Fiddler on the Roof (theatre)24 4 70 Glenn Miller Orchestra at Free Trade Hall Manchester then over to Houldsworth Hall for a "Benefit gig" in aid of struggling alternative" magazine It.
11 5 70- John Mayall concert- a local lad now living in America, a leading blues man, hardly recognised in his home land, he is still giving Manchester concerts thirty years later.His brother Rik is perhaps better known in the UK.
20 5 70- Tom Paxton concert
23.5.70 Mum and Dad visit Northop. Cath visits.
5th to 6th June 1970 Overnight concert in Buxton, finishing 6am, with Coloseum, Taste, Atomic Rooster, Strawbs etc. I don't recall but Rick Wakeman was playing with the Strawbs. Barclay James Harvest were listed but no-shows. The groups were- Flaming Youth (who?), Strawbs, Savoy Brown, Atomic Rooster, Taste, Colosseum, Daddy Long Legs, Matthew's Southern Comfort, Justine (I loved them), Gracious, Stack Waddy, Weeping Sac, Panic, Charge, and Elias Hulk. Not a bad line up for 27/6 (thats GBP 1.37 in new money).
13.6.70 Soft Machine concert in Manchester.
27.6.70 My mum and dad left Gower Road 10am for a weekend away, and Cathy arrived 11am.28 6 70 Belle Vue Manchester- Poporama- got autographs of top national DJs Tony Blackburn, Dave Eager and Stuart Henry.
29 8 70- left Manchester at midnight on long bus journey to LECH in Austria, arriving after 36 hours non stop travel including ferry Folkestone-Ostend. From Ostend through Germany to Austria. The bus was driven by a German speaking driver, I was part of a small group of Brits travelling largely with Flemish speaking Belgians! Met Linda Slade from Nottingham.
Although booked into a hotel, I was put into a rather distant and quite separate smaller building known as Jagerheim, where I had breakfast but had to walk into town to the hotel for other meals. I was also away from the small English contingent, there was an English girl in the room below, otherwise conversation had to be in German, which I didn't know...
12.9.70 Free concert at Hyde Park with Eric Burden and War, John Sebastian, and Canned Heat (and lots of rain); then the musical PROMISES PROMISES at the Prince of Wales theatre London9.9.70 HAIR in London then back to Manchester...
29.1.1971 Keef Hartley (and Third Ear Band) - with Barbara Thompson, Miller Anderson and Wynder K Frogg on organ. Superb.- concert in Manchester Free Trade Hall.
Feb 1971- England ditches pounds shilling and pence in favour of decimal money- as a result half a day off work as banks closed and nothing to do.
19.3.71 Segovia concert in Manchester. A great experience.22 3 71- Emerson Lake and Palmer concert- as the mixing desk took up our seats on the back of the stalls we were given by way of replacement the best seats in the house- the front of the circle. Wow.
1972- Holiday in Lake District with Cath- perhaps a little overenthusiastic, involving lots of walking. Started at Sleagill- then on to Wasdale- bad news, the farm had had a death leaving us a little stranded. Walking from Wasdale in the rain I was hit from behind and spent some days at Whitehaven Hospital, and for some years had a weakened left leg which can still ache a bit if I stand on it too long.
Married. Cath's parents not very supportive, attended wedding but had nothing to do with reception which my parents put on at their house- therefore small gathering. On to honeymoon at Rhyl. Moved in to Cath's flat on Tatton Road North, a bit derelict but only four pounds a week. Now demolished. (My first girlfriend, Vivien, also married in the same month- only discovered in 2015!).
Bank not too supportive either (working at Disley branch by now, a happy experience apart from my marriage being so strongly taken exception to) - consequent transfer to Stockport office- as 1968 office now being rebuilt, location was an old National Westminster Bank branch (also since demolished). [Curiously, several years later the diminutive Royal Bank of Scotland succeeded in an opposed takeover of the much larger National Westminster... but more of that in the 90's). Just as bad as Underbank, the cellar didnt have enough air to light a match. Still not a happy branch.(On going situation!)
1973- holiday- visited June and Ron in Germany (Mulheim) - travelled by train for this one. We visited Philips museum at Eindhoven, Holland (Evoluon- long since closed) and saw their animated interactive monster, the first cybernetic sculpture, named Senster. Built in 1970 he was sadly taken apart in 1974. This large skeletal creature had complex head and neck movements triggered by doppler radar and microphones, which enabled him to react to his environment in a complex and rather endearing manner. Driven by an early 16 bit mini computer with paper tape input. I later found on the internet pictures of the skeletal remains taken in a field in 2003. There was also a large ball bearing run, and a model of the economy running if my emory serves on water valves.
30.9.73- day trip to York. We saw steam engine Flying Scotsman (4472) running as the Cider Express, and also visited the top of York Minster.
1973-74 The Winter of Discontent- lots of power cuts, and electricity rationed, in the cold cold Winter months. I kept going on peppermint tea! By now working at another small branch, Handforth.
In this decade I built myself a primitive video game which played Pong, and bought my first "computer", a little known device from Sinclair called the Sinclair Cambridge, which came with four books of programs to key in on the numeric keypad. Properly called a programmable calculator.
Soon moved to Wilmslow office and was shortly in charge of the little two man office (then) on Water Lane- slightly boring work but a lovely park nearby for warm Summer days lunches. During this period another two man office of the Bank, not far away and also in Cheshire, was the scene of a really nasty double murder of the two clerks on duty, and as a result lunch time cover by way of an extra staff member was to be provided from then on.
Visiting Wilmslow more than a decade later I was greeted by one of my former customers, whose family were all regular bank users. Good memory! Also one of the cashiers in the 90's was one of the girls I had worked with in the smaller branch which had been across the road- Caroline.
March 1974. Short break at Sandown, Isle of Wight.
July 1974- holiday on Isle of Bute (Rothesay)- nice place but bad trip to get there and it was very windy and cold.
1974 Bought century old semi detached house in Heaton Chapel, Stockport, Cheshire for Pounds 8400. A semi detached house built about 1900, with 3 bedrooms. First builder bankrupt in middle, house left a bit and finished by a second builder who seems to have had different ideas on layout, and also a lack of funds, resulting in an odd build. Much work needed to be done and we were short of cash, but over the years we managed to reroof and more or less kept the windows in reasonable trim. Carpeting was courtesy of a neighbour in the trade, a good friend for many years, Peter Swain, whose wife Marjorie assisted us when George decided to stop eating meat - Marjorie was a vegetarian.
1975- Holiday on Isle of Man- lots of railways! castle. visited local parliament building. Nice place to visit. We were fortunate to see the Ramsey Pier railway before it was demolished; and also some old railway sheds (complete with old carriages) which had been abandoned.
1976- Visited Sheringham in Norfolk, Lincoln and London.After the death of the previous minister, Peter Denton, - in the most appropriate of all places, Canterbury Cathedral - a new minister was appointed to St Thomas in 1976, Roger Alderson, who made sweeping changes to the services. Although previously a "low" Church, Rev Alderson- whose first appointment this was- a married man- introduced extremely "high" church practices, full of ceremony and appearance. Many established worshippers left, to be replaced by folk from far away, travelling in by car.
1977 visited Llandidrod Wells, Wales where we found the dirtiest public toilets in Wales! There was a remnant of the wells water from a fountain - tasted awful.
1978- Visited Penzance, Cornwall and visited Lands End and St Ives.
1978- Passed old St Thomas records to the Archive Unit in Manchester Central Library.
24.12.78 visiting June and Ron in army barracks near York for Christmas hols. York Minster for the Festival of 9 lessons and carols 4pm
1979 holidays- Guernsey. Long way to go but nice place to visit. Stayed for the "Battle of the Flowers" which features numerous floats decorated with flowers.
I had been unhappy with the lack of any published history of St Thomas for a while, and visited the county archives of Cheshire and Greater Manchester, the Diocesan archives, and corresponded with- amongst others the then Bishop of St Helena (an old St Thomas boy). I wrote a history of the church, had fifty copies made up, several of which went to the local libraries, the remainder being sold in aid of church funds. (Now placed on the Web).
1979- The start of the long Conservative rule in Britain and the demise of the concepts of social conscience and charity, the growth of me first and executives ( aka big bosses) giving themselves major pay rises to the detriment of the overall economy.... an attitude which has become globally entrenched alas with no political alternative available. The loss of political alternatives with all politicians apparently in the pockets of business- effectively democracy quietly changed to oligarchy (corporate and educational esp Eton/Oxbridge).
By this time the excessive ceremony of St Thomas was proving too much and Cathy & I moved down the road to the next Church of England, St Pauls in Heaton Moor. I was soon a sidesman and both joined the Parochial Church Council.
Roger Alderson was later to leave the Church of England and move over to the Roman Catholic Church, a few years later returning to the Church of England.
And another item of change- in 1979 moved to the main Manchester branch of the bank, initially to work in the securities section.